More WSJ excerpts
''In the Illinois State Senate, some Democrats and Republicans tagged Mr. Obama as an elitist who looked upon the state legislature as a political stepping stone. Chicagoans who knew him frequently offer stories of his intimidating intellect and sometimes chilly manner -- a counterpoint to the widely circulated stories about his skills as a listener and his ability to connect with people of different views.'
'Mr. Obama next set his sights on the 2004 Senate race. Several white Democrats were planning to run. If Mr. Obama could win the black vote and attract liberal whites, he figured he could get 30% of the vote, enough to win in a crowded field, according to his aides on that campaign. Learning from his prior defeat, he visited three black churches every Sunday, delivering his stump speech in the cadence of black preachers. He raised money furiously.'
'Most importantly, Mr. Obama persuaded Mr. Axelrod, one of Chicago's most powerful political strategists, to run his campaign. Mr. Axelrod specialized in electing black candidates who could cross over and win white votes, emphasizing themes of unity and change. He also worked for Mayor Daley.'
'Mr. Axelrod, who had been holding money back, unleashed a flurry of Obama television ads. They made no mention of the Hull matter, but focused on Mr. Obama's biography. Mr. Obama won the primary with 53% of the vote.'
'Mr. Obama sailed to victory. By the end of the campaign, his aides were sending workers into Iowa, the first Presidential caucus state, to begin developing contacts among Democrats there, according to Al Kindle, an Obama campaign aid at the time.'